I found this on Google. The link to the page was dead, however, the cached content survived.

M. T. Devandas.


The first person of Indian origin, a Sindhi , Bhai Haroomal , reached Chile in 1905 along with 3 other friends. They were in a trip from Las Palmas. Being an adventorous Sindhi , Bhai Haroomal remained in the Free Zone of Punta Arenas in spite of the cold climatic conditions which reach minus 20degrees Celsius. He established a very succesful business with a chain of 17 stores including in Patagonia ( now a part of Argentina ) and Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). Punta Arenas means the Point of Sand - thats where the World begins or ends . In 1907 he engaged Bhai Bhojrajmal to assist him.

In 1906 another reputed Sindhi company J. T. Chanrai established their branch in Punta Arenas which was closed down after a few years. Bhai Haroomal died in 1911. His son refused to stay in Punta Arenas and the business was sold to Bhai Bhojrajmal Hotchand Nandwani who establshed the company B. Hotchand which was later named Nandwani Hermanos. This business is presently being handled by his son Dwarkadas, who has built a temple in Punta Arenas, to propogate Indian culture . His other sons Premchand and Atalram are presently in the Free Zone of Iquique.

Ships in those days passed through Cape Horn in America, passing near the southern tip in Chile. With the opening of the Panama Canal in 1918, ships were diverted to shorter routes. In the year 1920, Bhai Tarachand Devandas arrived in Punta Arenas. His son Mario, presently in Santiago, was the first Indian to graduate from a University in Chile. Amongst other noted Sindhis who came to Punta Arenas was Bhai Nenumal Bassarmal, famous for his store La Princessa, made his fortune during the Second World War when the Panama Canal was closed to commercial traffic.

Besides Punta Arenas, the Indian business community is also present in Santiago , the Capital of Chile, and Iquique. The activities of businessmen in Santiago is mainly confined to imports and retail stores.